2018 will be an exciting year for the Democratic Party in Orange County. We have the opportunity to lead the country in the Democratic revolution to take back Congress. Orange County went for the Democrat in 2016 for the first time in 80 years! Not even Obama could win OC. But Hillary won by 5 points - a huge victory. And this bodes well for the Democrats in 2018. We are starting this blog to keep OC citizens aware of events and people so that we can be informed and active voters.
Recent meetings with Democratic operatives in the area have left me both depressed and hopeful. Depressed because there are so many issues the country faces that are being gutted by the current administration. And the Democrats have little hope of influencing the decisions. Hopeful because I have met so many hard-working people who are totally committed to making things right again!
There are 4 Republican representatives in Congress from Orange County, and each of them is highly vulnerable to a Democratic challenge. We will be keeping you up to date on the district events and races so that we can Turn Orange County Blue!
Here are the districts covered and the challengers (so far):
39th District (Yorba Linda)
Incumbent: Ed Royce
Former Bernie Supporter
45th District (Irvine, parts of Newport Beach, Mission Viejo)
The 45th District includes Irvine, which has rapidly changing demographics.
Incumbent: Mimi Walters
Mimi has been a huge Trump supporter. She has voted with the Republicans on every issue. She is against LGBT rights, against choice and women’s reproductive rights, pro-gun, supporting and helping to write the House health care bill.
Challengers: Mimi has the most challengers.
(see details below of her campaign speech)
UCI Law Professor
Endorsed by Elizabeth Warren
(see details below of his campaign speech)
UC Irvine Law Professor
Son of Korean Immigrants
Orange Coast College Professor
Ran against Mimi in 2016
Capital Hill aide
Son of Iranian immigrants
48th District (from Dana Point to Seal Beach (including most of Newport Beach) and east to the 405 (parts of Fountain Valley, including Huntington Beach and Laguna Niguel)
Incumbant: Dana Rohrabacher
Remember the audio with Paul Ryan suggesting the Russians were paying off Trump? Enough said!
(see details below of his campaign speech)
Attorney and Real Estate Businessman
Former marine and airline pilot
Small business owner and community leader
49th District (San Clemente, Oceanside, Encinitas)
Incumbant: Darrell Issa
Also, enough said!
Retired Marine Colonel and Attorney
Lost to Issa in 2016 by 1600 votes. Forced a re-count
Environmental lawyer and Democratic activist
There are 2 main Democratic groups we are focusing on:
DemOCPac and Canyon Democrats
We will report on their meetings and let you know about upcoming events.
Candidates spoke at 2 of their events. Here is my evaluation:
Dave Min spoke at the May 5 Canyon Democrats meeting and is a candidate for Mimi Walters’ seat in the 45th district. His number 1 goal is to replace Mimi and help take back the House.
He graduated Harvard Law, worked at the Securities and Exchange Commission and for Chuck Schumer. He currently teaches at UCI and is an economics and banking scholar. He is married with 3 children and lives in Irvine. His wife works at UCI on the Initiative to End Family Violence.
He is running for Congress because: 1) his parents were Korean immigrants who came to this country to build a better life and he wants to continue that possibility for others; 2) for his children he wants to restore the American Dream by investing in the future.
The issues he stands for are: 1) slowing climate change, providing clean water and air; 2) valuing and investing in education; 3) respecting women and LGBT rights. He believes Mimi is out of touch with the district. She doesn’t show up at town hall meetings or listen to her constituents. She remains silent on Trump and the refugee ban, and she was out in front on the new Health Care bill which takes away health insurance for millions.
His plan for the election is: 1) Go local. Find local endorsements and hold town hall meetings. 2) Science-based solutions to problems and promote shared values. 3) Demographics! How did Hillary win OC in 2016? Turnout increased for college students, Asian Americans, and 35-50 year olds. These groups can continue to increase.
My take on Dave Min -- he is very smart, thoughtful, and articulate. He will appeal to the Asian community.
Katie Porter spoke at the June 7 OC DemoPac meeting and the June 20 Canyon Democrats meeting and is a candidate for Mimi Walters’ seat in the 45th district.
Katie is a UCI Law Professor specializing in consumer protection and consumer law. She is married with 3 children. She graduated Yale and Harvard Law and worked with Kamala Harris as her banking expert and consumer watchdog. She was mentored by Elizabeth Warren. She has been endorsed by Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, and Emily’s List (pro-choice organization)
Major talking points:
1) defend and improve the Affordable Care Act
2) create fair economic policies
3) encourage clean energy development
4) pro-choice and gay rights
5) opposes Trump’s travel ban
Expressed the need for immigration reform with a pathway to citizenship
6) Close corporate tax loopholes; protect entitlements
7) expand trade.
Opposes the TPP and expressed the need to protect workers and the environment
8) supports public education and funding for research and science.
She will fight for families and be a consumer advocate. She supports clean energy legislation. (She noted that Mimi does not believe in climate change.) And she wants to reenact the assault weapon ban. (Mimi is with the NRA)
She also commented that Mimi is anti-choice, anti- LGBT.
Katie called Trump’s diplomatic and economic policies reckless. Pointed out that Mimi Walters has voted 100% with Trump. Katie encouraged civility, but wants to provide “positive trouble”. “Mimi is responsible for her votes supporting Trump.”
Elizabeth Warren will come to Orange County to campaign for Katie.
My take on Katie Porter - she is extremely qualified. She has a good organization and is probably the front-runner.
Harley Rouda spoke at the June 7 OC DemoPac meeting and is a candidate for Dana Rohrabacher’s seat in the 48th district.
Harley is a Business person who owns a real estate company in Ohio, and he is a lawyer. He has MBA and JD degrees. He is married and has 4 children
Major talking points:
1) promote clean energy technology
2) supports increase in funding to Planned Parenthood
In favor of free and accessible birth control. Believes women should have control of their reproductive rights.
3) Address wealth inequality.
4) Need to address the budget deficit but does not support a balanced budget.
Seeks to eliminate $50-60 billion in tax incentives to fossil fuels.
Harley called Trump “deplorable, unethical and immoral.” He agrees with the need for civility, but insisted he will take Rohrabacher to task for his votes in Congress, especially his anti-climate votes. And his connection to the Trump-Russia investigation will be fair game.
Harley grew up as a Republican. But became “enlightened” 18 years ago. As an Ohio native, he supported John Kasick in 2016 as a moderate, though Harley doesn’t agree with his social positions. He stressed the need to educate the public on the issues, especially the role of Planned Parenthood in women’s health. He also stressed the need to register Democrats to vote - now. In his district there is a 10% gap between Republican and Democratic registration.
My take on Harley Rouda - he is a good candidate, articulate and personable. He will give Rohrabacher a run.
Colonel Doug Applegate spoke at the June 20 Canyon Democrats meeting.Candidate for Darrell Issa’s seat in the 49th District.
Doug is a retired Marine and an attorney. He is a Vietnam and Iraq war veteran. He is pro-union. He almost beat Issa in 2016 (lost by 1600 votes).
His speech mainly focused on how to win the 49th.
There are 8% more Republicans than Democrats in the district, but lots of Republicans are Veterans, and lots are Marines.
Historically Issa has won (8 times) by 30,000 votes. Last time - 1600 votes. Current polling shows Applegate ahead by 8 points.
His positions include:
1) fighting for a livable wage;
2) single payer health care;
3) pro-choice and pro-funding of Planned Parenthood;
4) addressing the needs of people who lost jobs to automation;
5) major concerns about dealing with nuclear waste from power plants, particularly San Onofre.
My take on Colonel Applegate - he was very political and very strategic. He just wants to win and puts enormous emphasis on his veteran status. He is very polished and confident. (Frankly, any Democrat who can beat Issa works for me.)
He had one point that really stuck with me:
When you’re talking to a Republican, don’t try to “turn” them. Ask them, what is the most important thing you want from your representative. Then speak to their concerns.
I thought that was a significant lesson for us all.
Please share this blog with your friends and neighbors. It’s time to truly take our country back.